Cindy Daniel on Creating the Healdsburg SHED Ecosystem

Healdsburg SHED

About 20 years ago, Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton moved to Healdsburg to follow their dream of starting their own farm. After they achieved that dream, they set out to conquer another three years ago: Healdsburg SHED, a celebration of food and community unlike anything else.

Healdsburg SHED has the primary quality that you may see on a thriving farm ecosystem: diversity. This beautiful two-story building is home to a restaurant, fermentation bar, coffee bar, retail shop, produce, farming tools, and a community gathering space. The mission of all of these components is to create a space that celebrates “good farming, good cooking, and good eating.”

After a tour from Doug, we sat down with Cindy to talk about the inspiration, concept, and construction behind SHED, including the different components that work together to make the ecosystem thrive. Some customers may come in daily for a cup of coffee and a pastry or heirloom seeds for their home garden. Ultimately, there are many different kinds of people who can relate to SHED in different ways — here’s how she engages them all.
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Best Pizza in Every State; The New Best Restaurant; Deep Sea Dining; Kid-Free Dining Rooms; Food Raves; Restaurants to Rate Diners, Tell Us How Much to Tip?

The fastest way to a food fight? Ask someone what restaurant makes the best slice of pizza!

* Food raves to replace music raves. Except in Ibiza, I’m sure. [The Telegraph]

* The tipping point. Couldn’t restaurants just tell us what it is? [Freakonomics]

* Are these the best slices of pizza in every state? The debate starts now. [Food Network Magazine]

* Kitchen grow rooms are the new gardens. And, Australian chef Peter Gilmore is setting the trend. [Sydney Morning Herald]

* Kid-free dining rooms less extreme alternative to kid-free dining. A restaurant in Florida has had one for three years. [First Coast News]

* But e-books may make kid-free dining obsolete. Zukka wants to help entertain your kids while you’re eating out. [WSJ]

* Will restaurateurs start rating you? If someone starts a website that lets them do that, probably? [InsideScoopSF]

* There’s no place like NOMA. But you’ll never know that because you will never get a reservation there. [The Independent]

* Deep-sea dining. The world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant is open for business. [Forbes]

* Junk food costs less than good food. Which makes sense when you think about it. [Reuters]

* iPads are replacing printed menus. This makes me sad because printed menus are, um, cool? [AppAdvice]

* Speaking of menus and coolness. They’re so cool that they’ve even warranted their own book. [WSJ]

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Garden-to-Plate: More Restaurants Grow Their Own

beetsCoast to coast, more chefs are adding pitchforks to their batterie de cuisine as they create gardens to feed their culinary imaginations — not to mention their diners. From Dan Barber, the doyen of delicious, just-picked ingredients and owner of New York’s Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, to ambitious and environmentally conscious chefs on the West Coast (and everywhere in between), growing what you serve is growing in popularity.

Next door to New York, New Jersey chef Corey Heyer raises herbs and vegetables for The Bernards Inn, getting local schoolchildren involved in sowing in the spring. In Ohio, restaurant gardens are taking root at Cincinnati eateries, including Lavomatic Cafe & Urban Wine Bar, Chalk Food + Wine, Bistro JeanRo, and Orchids at Palm Court. Across the state, some of Cleveland’s chefs are getting into gardening as well, and you’ll find “homegrown” produce on your plate at Lago.

In California, arguably the birthplace of local, seasonal cuisine, many Los Angeles chefs are getting their hands even dirtier with urban restaurant gardens, including Jonathan McDowell of Blue Velvet, Rustic Canyon‘s Evan Funke, and Scott Garnett of Blue on Blue. Michael Bauer points out San Francisco and Napa restaurants where the line between chef and farmer is also blurred, including The French Laundry, Spruce, Poggio, Ubuntu, and Madrona Manor.

As both a devoted diner and home gardener, I hope this trend proves to be more than a foodie fad and we’ll find more as-local-as-local-gets produce on restaurant menus each year.